Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Two Ads from the Sorry 'Seventies

Sensing discontent with our unsettled times, designers have gone nostalgic, The New York Times tells us, reviving styles from World War II, the 1950s and even the 1970s.

Bad idea. World War II was not fun and games. As for the 1970s … yuck! The decade was born in war and war protest and went downhill from there. Ridiculous hairdos. Watergate. Polyester clothes. Long lines at gas stations. Double-digit inflation. The worst stock-market slump since the Great Depression.

Did we mention the smog? That unwelcome phenomenon prompted many a 1970s jest, like

How to murder your husband in two easy steps
1. "Darling, let's move to L.A."
2. "Everything's unpacked, Dear. Why don't you go jogging? The air will do you good."

When life hands affluent investors lemons, savvy marketers encourage them to make lemonade. Here are two examples from 1970.

Merrill Lynch tackles the breathability issue head on:

U.S. Trust evokes a whole handful of worries confronting the 1970 investor. (Anyone know why "communication" was cause for concern?)

For today's fiduciary wealth managers, our unsettled times also offer marketing opportunities. Worried investors who have gotten along without professional guidance become more willing to seek it. Investors who have lost confidence in their old advisers look for new sources of expertise.

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